We stayed five nights in this beautifully located, delightful apartment in one of the oldest houses in Haarlem. This apartment is not inexpensive but if you want atmosphere, this is it. The living room overlooking the canal is spectacular: you can sit by the windows and watch the world go by on the canal.
The beds are excellent with two adjustable mattresses independent of one another. The living room is comfortable with a great leather couch. The aspect is also good and on the clear days the living room was filled with sun. The kitchen is small but has good equipment including a coffee machine, though as mentioned below we could not get the induction cooktop to work. The fridge is small and does not have a freezer. There are no washing or ironing facilities, but there is a laundromat nearby on the road to the station.
Pieter the owner very kindly met us at the station, provided us with lots of information and invited us for coffee to help us settle in. He was keen to do anything possible to make our stay pleasant.
We did have a problem with the induction cooktop and unfortunately no instructions were in English. I emailed Pieter, who was away in Greece, and he got right back to me overnight offering to send someone over to look at the problem or to provide us with a meal at the restaurant downstairs. His wife later delivered extra baking dishes so we could cook in the oven instead, as well as a tin of sweets to apologise for any inconvenience.
As it is inside an old house, the apartment has a lot of fairly steep stairs between the street entry and the bedroom and the bedroom and the kitchen and living room. We thought this was part of the charm but it would not be suitable for people with mobility problems.
Haarlem is a fantastic alternative to staying in big, busy Amsterdam. There is a lot to see and do in Haarlem itself: St Bavo’s church, the wonderful Frans Hals museum, canal boat tours, the windmill museum, walking and exploring, and a lovely market on Saturday mornings. There are regular trains to Amsterdam – about 15 minutes – from the station, which is a pleasant five to ten minute walk. It has good connections to the other cities as well and we were able to head off for day visits to places like Rotterdam. There is a direct bus service to Schipol from the stop outside the tourist information office every ten minutes or so. Coming home every night to a peaceful small city where everything you need is within walking distance was just what we needed.
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